The Lisu people are mostly living in west Yunnan along the Nujiang River. According to the different colors of their gunny clothes, the ethnic group is classified into White Lisu, Black Lisu and Colored Lisu. Each group has unique and traditional wedding rituals. It is a really beautiful and mysterious ethnic group.
Wedding Feast and Monetary Gifts for the Couple
The wedding feast of Lisu ethnic is cultured and dainty. The number of the bowls on the feast should be singular. And there is a special ceremony on monetary gifts for the new couple. Firstly, the leader of the wedding ceremony will take some water on the mantle to the couple for prosperity. When the ceremony is completed, he will collect money from the guests and give it to the couple. Water is also put in the bowl which the groom symbolically drinks for wealth. The money is then poured into the groom’s hand, and then the money will be poured into the wrap cloth on the bride’s head in turn.
The Black Veil Instead of Red Veil
Here comes another unique tradition of Lisu ethnic minority—the black veil for bride instead of red veil. The special black veil made of black homespun is so noticeable and tremendous that it helps to make the wedding more mysterious. We don’t know exactly the reason why they wear such a lumbersome veil on the big day; I guess it is due to their simple and primitive rituals.
Special Bridal Shave
Bridal shave is a very important segment during a wedding of Lisu nationality. It happens secretly deep in the forest and it is never can be seen by non-natives especially the male.
To have a bridal shave means every bride-to-be should get all the fine hair on the face shaved. The bride’s ant or other elder female relatives will plaster the gesso prepared in advance on the girl’s face and then pull up the fine hair little by little. The whole procedure will last for about half an hour. Although I haven’t experience this myself, I believe it is painful. Why do they have the bridal shave? The views differ. But one thing is common that it is a symbol of becoming an adult. Every girl of Lisu ethnic group should do so before wedding because it is believed that only by doing this they will have transmigration after deaths.
Interesting “Bang Bang” Dance
After the feast, they have a dancing celebration, holding hands with each other to create a circle while singing joyful songs. So dance is also called “Bang Bang” Dance. This dancing ceremony not only for the wedding day, but also for the day after wedding day. The wedding is finished until the third day.